GER-ARG: Take III
Up for the cup: Germany and Argentina have both been here before, and against each other to boot on two previous occasions. As it stands, it's honours even ahead of Sunday's final...
The sides' first encounter in FIFA's showpiece event took place in Mexico City in 1986. Among the still-familiar Bundesliga faces in the West Germany starting XI were Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (back row 4.l.), Felix Magath (back row r.), Klaus Alloffs (front row c.) and Lothar Matthäus (front row r.)
Despite the best efforts of Matthäus and Co., a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina took a 2-0 lead before the hour mark and looked to be coasting to victory
But Rudi Völler (l.) came off the bench to lay on one goal and bag another, hauling a gritty German side briefly back into the contest
The last word fell to the South Americans however, Jorge Burruchaga latching onto Maradona's pass to race through and dispatch the ball past a despairing Harald 'Toni' Schumacher in the 84th minute...
...to earn the Albiceleste a second world title after their debut success on home soil in 1978
Rome's Stadio Olimpico was the venue for the tournament finale four years later - another head-to-head between the same two teams
This time around, Maradona (c.) was for the most part well contained by Guido Buchwald (l.), Matthäus (r.) et al and could provide the holders with only the very occasional flash of forward momentum
Otherwise, Argentina were defending their title in the literal sense of the word, with a singularly focused German side dominating the bulk of a tactical contest...
...and finally breaching the Argentinian defence towards the end of regulation time, Andi Brehme (no3) coolly tucking away a spot-kick given for a foul on Völler
Come the final whistle a few minutes later, the celebrations could commence in earnest, on the German side at any rate
Franz Beckenbauer (r.) had just become the first man to win the World Cup both as a player (in 1974) and coach
Chapter Three of the final saga between these two old rivals plays out at the iconic Maracana Stadium on Sunday - will Philipp Lahm follow in Matthäus' (l., with Pierre Littbarski) footsteps as the next Nationalmannschaft skipper to hold the coveted cup on high?